Engineering Firm Makes Flood Prevention Recommendations to City

By George Slaughter

A city-hired engineering firm presented a series of recommendations for future flood prevention Monday night.

The firm, Costello, Inc., a Houston-based engineering and surveying company, made its recommendations at the Katy City Council meeting.

The recommendations for the city included:

  • Continuing with planned short-term projects to improve local rainfall capacity within the city limits.
  • Working with the Texas Department of Transportation and Union Pacific on possible expansion of the railroad and US 90.
  • Constructing an expanded city pond with improvements to the existing weir structure. In addition, increase pump station size to provide further resiliency to the system.
  • Coordinating with the Cane Island Branch Engineer on possible opportunities to expand proposed detention pond for additional flood reduction.
  • Continuing to advocate for the third reservoir to protect from the Cypress Creek overflow.
  • Reviewing localized drainage systems for opportunities to improve conveyance and storm water collection within the city. These systems are in Pine Forest, Fortuna/Patna, and 1st Street.
  • Partnering with the Brookshire-Katy Drainage District to enforce consistent development criteria within the Cane Island Branch watershed.

The city hired Costello last December to review the April 2016 rain and flooding, planned and completed ditch restoration projects, and short-term drainage projects. The final presentation for a Cane Island Branch Flood Protection Planning Study was to be given in August. Hurricane Harvey altered those plans.

The Costello report is on the city web site.

“We have to get this problem fixed,” Mayor Chuck Brawner said.

The next step, in terms of local drainage control, is a workshop between Costello and the council. The city authorized Costello to review alternatives for improving drainage conditions in the Pine Forest subdivision. The workshop will be to review the findings.

This workshop is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. November 7 at City Hall, 901 Avenue C. It is expected to be the first of a series.

“We’re going do these in sections,” Brawner said, adding that the work in all sections of the city must be integrated.

Brawner said the total figure for the work might be $10 or $15 million, but hastened to say that he didn’t know the final figure.

“We’re going to have to look at funding,” Brawner said, adding that if a bond election had to be held, he believed the citizens of Katy would support it.

The meeting drew a standing-room only crowd. Brawner moved the report and subsequent public forum to the end of the meeting so the other business could be resolved and everyone could focus on report and subsequent discussion.

In other action Monday, the council:

  • Passed an ordinance appointing Megan Bishop, Paul Hanne, Carrie Singletary, and Paula Taylor to the Keep Katy Beautiful Board of Directors.
  • Reviewed the city’s Fiscal Year 2016-17 fourth quarter investment report and bank statements and check register through September 30.
  • Approved meeting minutes for the council meetings of September 8, 11, 15, 21, and 25.
  • Authorized a $690 annual membership dues payment for the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association.
  • Approved the 2018 city holiday schedule.
  • Canceled council meetings set for Monday, November 27 and Monday, December 25, due to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, respectively.
  • Accepted water, wastewater, storm water, and paving improvements for the Cane Island subdivision, section 19.
  • Accepted water, wastewater, storm water, and paving improvements for Cane Island Parkway, phase 4.
  • Accepted water, wastewater, storm water, and paving improvements for Cane Island subdivision, section 20.
  • Accepted water, wastewater, storm water, and paving improvements for Cane Island subdivision, section 23.
  • Approved a final plat for Igloo Road commercial development for approximately 60 acres in the H&TCRR Company Survey, section 1-3, in Waller County.
  • Adopted a resolution ratifying the agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for disaster debris removal.
  • Adopted a resolution authorizing City Administrator Byron Hebert to sign a financing agreement with Government Capital Corporation for procuring of vehicles, excavator and related equipment, and SCBA’s and related equipment.
  • Adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of $3 million in unlimited tax rate bonds by the Fort Bend-Waller Municipal Utility District No. 2.